SPAIN LA LIGA
ESPANOL - ATHLETIC BILBAO
Hosts have done us a couple of favours recently, although their failure to hold on to a 2-0 lead at Atletico and record a fifth straight win last week, was very expensive. I expect them to bounce back today and record the win that will all but secure their La Liga safety.
They have played really well over the last month, far too good to be relegated and they will not be. This is actually their second last ever start at the Montjuic, with a new stadium ready for next season. They are desperate to secure their future before the last game, so that they can celebrate and say farewell in style, without any relegation worries.
Bilbao have had a very draining week, not only were they given a second half runaround by Barcelona in midweek, in a match where they used up a lot of energy, but the players were forced to attend an official celebration on Friday, missing out on training and interupting preparations for this game, which has upset many of the squad. They will rotate today and without any need for a result, it is difficult to see them matching the motivation of their hosts. The handicap quote looks tough at first glance, but Espanol are scoring freely and if and when they take the lead, they could run away from a tired opponent.
6.5 points Espanol -1 ball 2.07 asian line.